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Aamir Khan has got himself into a very good habit. He cannot stop making movies with substance and class written all over it... and you will adore every moment of it!
It is not easy to make a movie "likeable" without adding some humour or action or romantic sequences. Talaash manages to win our hearts by not only having a great script but a symphony of great acting by every soul that you see in the movie, including Pinky, the dog. Talaash starts off by showing some random events which seem to have no connection. It gets a little long and frustrating in between with your brain trying to figure out the connection between these events.
Aamir Khan looks impeccable with his theatrical skills as a police officer, but I felt that his role was a little too soft w.r.t his image of an encounter specialist. Other than that, Aamir's role can fill up your heart with emotions. Kareena has a gift of acting and she uses it very well. She will actually convince you that she is a real prostitute; I guess the experience from 'Chameli' paid off :-). Rani not only suites her role but brings out the best in it. IMHO, you will not get to see a better professionalism among any other set of actors than what this movie puts forth.
But as I mentioned before, the story is what will leave you flabbergasted, although it might also make you wonder if the story was inspired by a Hollywood movie, but that's debatable. The initial confusion that the movie creates will all clear-up by the time movie ends. All the random pieces of puzzle fall beautifully into right place and bring your mind at peace. What keeps the movie real is that you never feel that songs interrupt the set of sequence in the movie. The songs actually bring out the essence of the scenes.
My suggestion: If you are looking for a smart movie this weekend this is it. Not sure if taking kids to this movie would be a 'smart' choice!
Life of Pi (2012)
Loved the picturization, but found story-line to be weak
We have always been told that value of Pi is best calculated as 22/7 but you wouldn't know that 355/113 give a more accurate value of Pi than 22/7. However, using 22/7 makes it easier for to do calculations and that's the reason why it is used often.
Done with beating around the bush... time to criticize!
From the time movie start you can't help but notice the "beautiful" picturization and cinematography throughout. Add to that the life-like sound affects make you experience the movie almost in real time. This movie shows the wrath of ocean on its survivors and its destructive powers. There have been several movies made about survivors in wild or islands or the sea. This movie makes the survival journey even harder by making the human survive on a small rescue boat with a Royal Bengal Tiger. In my opinion, the presentation of this movie on the big screen was flawless.
Plot revealed below.
But you can never have a good movie experience until the actors "live the movie" and convince their audience that it all happened for real. Pi's role is taken by two people, Suraj Sharma when he was younger and Irfan Khan, the older Pi who narrates his life experience to a novel writer. Both have acted very well for their roles, but the role of honest looking younger-Pi seemed to make older Pi's role look a little weaker. During Pi's struggle to survive on a small boat with the fierce tiger, he realises a lot of things, most of it is self realization, the way he loses hope and regains it and the mysterious things he sees in his voyage makes the fictional story intriguing. What I liked about the movie was how Pi starts enjoying the little things he was left with in the rescue boat and how important it becomes for him. But, the most interesting part of the movie is how the boy and tiger learn to survive together and realize that each of them played a big part in keeping them alive.
What makes a movie more unrealistic is a big negative for me. I didn't like extra affects that make the ocean look beautifully clear and magical. Another flaw in the story is the way it starts and the way it ends seem to have no connection. In the beginning Pi, as a younger kid seems to be furiously looking see the meaning of life, religion and God. By the end of it, I would have expected that the story would come with a clearer answer. The story makers somehow didn't make the ends meet.
My suggestion: Pi is a good movie to experience. Watching it in 3D makes the movie experience even better.
Student of the Year (2012)
Waste of time
You work hard all week so that you can enjoy your weekend, with anticipation that a good movie will make all the hard work worthwhile. But then life produces people like 'Karan Johar' to keep reminding you that not every Friday night will be fulfilling. After watching SOTY I felt like watching a good movie (at least twice) to completely erase from my memory the 3 hrs of non-sense I had to go through.
SOTY is everything that is wrong with today's bollywood movies. After watching the way people have acted in the movie, I could bet 'Justin Bieber' could have done a better role than these newbie's :-P. SOTY tries to capture the friendship among two friends in a college who... fight over one girl, duh! There is absolutely no chemistry between the friends or the couples. The two new heroes have tried their best to make their friendship look good, but I would say their friendship is more of a sunken-ship. It never even comes close to the chemistry friends share in 'Dil chahata hai' or 'Aisha' or 'Zindagi Na Milegi Doobara'.
The new heroine is like a doll, whose face has been painted white. There's something weird about the girl's face that looks extra (Photoshop) white than it should normally be. Of all the actors, Rishi Kapoor is the only one who stands out being soundly suitable and interesting for his role.
I felt the movie lost connection with the Indian audience when they started showing foreign things in the movie, like college arranging prom nights and triathlon. Then there are scenes where people start getting emotional for things that don't concern them and not to mention the half a dozen songs squeezed into the movie, on top of that half these songs are remake of old Hindi songs. This movie lacks innovation, acting, good story or a good casting.
My suggestion: All those who plan to watch "Student of the Year"... change your plans!
English Vinglish (2012)
Good things come in small packages, and "English vinglish" is the best example of that. In my opinion, one of the best ways to judge a movie is by how it makes you feel when you walk out of the theater. To sum-up the experience of watching 'English vinglish' in one word - Beautiful!
I had the least expectations from a come-back movie of Sri Devi, but no one could have done a better job for this role. Sri Devi has the most realistic and lively expressions you will get to see in an actress. As my wifey puts it: "One of the most appealing characteristic of Sri Devi's acting is her ability to talk with her eyes", and you are going to see a lot of her eyes. Movie shows the ever-young face of Sri Devi for about 80-85% of the time, but you will never get bored of watching her or her "talking eyes". For all those people who wonder why Sri Devi still has a big fan following, this movie is the reason :-).
The story of 'English vinglish' has a very nice flow to it. You are going to be surprised as to how simple the story is and what a brilliant job the creators have done to shape it into a master-piece. If not for the last scene, this movie would have scored the max points on my ratings, but kudos to the director for keeping it real. Putting aside the acting of Sri Devi, all the co-actors too have done an excellent job in keeping the movie entertaining. Not the mention the unexpected appearance of a guest Super-Star in the movie was a pleasant surprise too. But nothing beats the feeling of an "expected bad" movie turning into an awesome one.
My suggestion: Perfect for family, couples, and friends, as there is something for everyone to take away from this movie. Just try to not focus on Sri Devi's surgically enhanced nose:-) (Bummer!)
Perfect movie for kids and family
Since long humans have explored the possibility of afterlife. This movie wraps that concept in a nice way for all the kids out there. The concept of Paranorman seems to be borrowed from the famous movie, 'Sixth Sense'. Norman is a kid in a normal middle class family with people who do normal jobs and live a normal life.
But Norman is no normal kid. He can see ghosts and talk to them which make everyone think that he is creepy and weird. Norman tries to find acceptance in the society with his super powers and that is what the movie is all about. Apparently, in movies the only way to do this is by being a hero and that's what our Norman does :-).
Paranorman succeeds in getting its crazy characters to fit perfectly in their shoes. This movie is a perfect example of how innovative movies should be produced. It manages to come up with hilarious sequences that will leave you in fits of laughter and like all movies for kids this one ends with a good lesson. The best thing about the movie has to be the funny scenes, but like all movies, I would think what mattered the most for me was the well thought off plot. I absolutely loved the way Norman puts his thoughts together to convey the town people to *not* do something by showing them how that was wrong.
This movie doesn't have great 3D-effects like the "Madagascar-3" so it wouldn't matter if you watch it in 2D or 3D. But what this movie provides is a great value for your time.
My suggestion: This is a perfect family movie with a lesson for everyone in a family and probably the best show to go for this weekend.
The Bourne Legacy (2012)
The initial part can put anyone to sleep
Bourne legacy is a slow set of sequences with a few bursts of action scenes that results in one boring movie. Starting part of the movie is very slow at several instances. I ended up dosing off a few times in the initial parts and apparently, I wasn't alone doing that :-) The story of this sequel is designed to match with the previous series of Bourne movies. But in spite of having a good story line, overall, the movie was not entertaining. Near the end of movie, action sequences pick up and they have done a really good job there, but just when you feel movie starts to wake up the audience... it ends! This movie has one of the most abrupt endings that I had ever seen. By the time movie ended, we were not sure what happened. It was like the movie makers threw up their arms in air after first action sequence and decided "oh shoot! We just ran out of cash, pack up!"
My suggestion: It would be better for you dosing-off at home than in theater! :-)
Sometimes you know you are going to hate a movie the minute it starts. When TED started, those were my feelings. The movie starts with a fairy tale kind-of narration of a boy's wish which makes his teddy bear come to life, Ted. By this time I was sure I was going to hate this movie.
Teddy Bears usually have an image of being cute cuddly and something that you relate to kids. This movie changes that image in a humorous way. In the next scene the teddy and the boy (John) are all grown up. Both have a mature adult voice, they smoke pod, they talk dirty and still live together. There is something hilarious about a 'Teddy Bear' swearing on the big screen.
The movie is all about how the friendship of John (Mark Wahlberg) and Ted (Teddy bear) comes between John's love life. John and Ted have a great bond and are awesome together, and so is the pair of John and his girl-friend Lori (Mila Kunis). John finds it hard to let go of either of them and ends up fighting with Ted and kicking him out of his apartment.
What I liked about the movie was the imagination of bringing a bear to life and changing the role of him from just being a kid's play toy. Ted is hilariously funny and his friendship with John is naturally entertaining. Also the chemistry between John and Lori is very charming and real. You will definitely enjoy these two as much you enjoy the other two.
My suggestion: Don't miss Ted; he will make you Laugh your AO! But be sure to not take your kids with you, this is *not* a kids movie.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
If you watch a movie that has generated a lot of hype in media and everyone absolutely loves it, chances are that you are not going to like it much because of the raised expectations. Dark knight rises is a kind of movie that you are going to LOVE... in spite of all the hype :-)
Batman is a legend in the Gotham city, this movie brings back the lost Batman to Gotham. The movie as a whole has been filmed with faded black and grey tinge. The way movie is shot you will get to see very little colors on the screen other than white, black and grey. This produces dismal picture which is dark most of the times, the mood is kind of sad... Until you see batman walk-in. When Batman walks-in, all the focus is on him, music picks up, gadgets come out and bad guys almost wet their pants. As always Batman is loaded with awesome gadgets and this time he has upgraded to better ones. And the best of all, you are going to still adore his motor cycle. By the time you walk out of theater, you will feel like Batman :-)
Like the prequel, Bane, the villain has done a very convincing job. The voice and face of Bane can terrorize anyone in the audience. The best part about the movie was that, when Bane unleashes his terror on Gotham, you can feel the pain and tension of people in the city. Story of The Dark Knight Rises is not very simple to comprehend, but by the time movie ends, it all comes together as to what a beautiful script this movie was made with.
My suggestion: There's not better way to spend your weekend than watching Batman in action. If you are confused between Ice Age and Batman, you know which one to pick.
Ferrari Ki Sawaari (2012)
Boring story, but great acting
Ferrari Ki Sawari - 06/10 =========== ====
The movie title gave me a feeling that it would be about a road trip that the trio of Bomman Irani, Sharman Joshi and a Kid would take across the country. Surprisingly, the movie is more about a kids struggle to become a cricketer than about Ferrari. Who could have guessed that with that kind of title and posters?
After watching the movie you will realize that movies like 'Ferrari Ki Sawari' is exactly the reason that people like me turn into film critics :-)
There is a pattern which has become very predictable with Bollywood movies and its gotten really old now. The movie theme remains all happy and story seems to make sense till intermission. It is only after the intermission that they screw up everything by making things too emotional and unrealistic. I thought that acting of all the actors was simply superb in the movie. Bomman Irani has acted brilliantly, and this character of his, 'old-khadoos grandpa' was the best character he had done so far. Sharman Joshi's acting of a perfect father was equally good and so was the Kid's character. If not for the sucking story, their roles would have been no less than an Oscar performance, and all my points are for their performances.
There's a dearth of idea about stories in Bollywood movie. Its only love stories or gang shoot-outs. Directors who select a different story either become big hits or screw-up big time. This movie would be the latter. Its about time that someone starts writing different but realistic stories.
My suggestion: Worth watching for the acting effort that Bomman Irani and Sharman have put in. But don't watch it beyond intermission, you would only be disappointed at such a waste of talent.
Too much of fantasy
Watching Brave felt like reading a story out of a fairy tale book. This movie had everything that belonged to a fairy-land. A princess, a King, a Queen, a witch with spells and potions, magic and a lesson for all the kids out there :-) And when there is a princess, there has to be a prince who would fall in love with her and take her away, but no, that's not how it is :-)
Spoiler alert, beyond this point What I admired about the movie was that makers decided to move away from the usual theme of princess falling in love with a prince and made a different kind of theme, a family oriented movie. The movie revolves around rebellious teenage princess trying to break traditions and paving her own future. The Queen struggles to make her daughter the perfect princess who has a class and charisma of an ideal Queen.
But I usually find flaws in these movie quite easily, they get very predictable after a certain time. The movie wasn't 'extremely-funny' or 'extremely-motivating' or had something that would leave the audience spell bound. I found the Ice-Age trailer to be more entertaining than this movie.
My suggestion: If you like animated movies you will enjoy every bit of it. It's an OK-OK movie.